Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Newsday TV Book, December 24-30, 1972.

It's been said many times, many ways, but screw it, I'll say it anyway: Merry Christmas! This week's cover features a cookie that looks like a real bicuspid buster. But we'll get to that shortly.
The TV Line gives us the skinny on Pierre La Cock, offers more evidence that astrology is bullshit thanks to a dopey query about Miyoshi Umeki, and teaches us (and by "us" I mean me) that Kris Tabori is the son of Viveca Lindfors and Don Siegel. Did you know this?
Elwood Nursery hawks its after-Christmas sale, which is a little annoying since, reading chronologically, it isn't damn Christmas yet! At least the Storybook Caverns are open until the 30th. Except in Bay Shore, which officially makes that store the worst of all Elwood Nurseries.
Now we get to everyone's favorite part: The celebrity greetings! On this first page (of only four--this section would be expanded greatly in Yuletides to come), we get all the info on that cover cookie angel. When it has to be pointed out that a cookie was made "using edible materials," that's a bad-looking cookie. If this had been a gift, I would have thanked Jean Loomis Newman and slipped it deftly into my pocket for later disposal. Otherwise, this page and the three that follow offer holiday wishes ranging from heartfelt (Chad Everett) and verbose (The Brady Bunch) to glib (Jackie Gleason) and crabby (Carroll O'Connor). My favorites are the ones with plugs for whatever show the person is on, some subtle, some not. A few get political, with the best being the folks at PBS' Electric Company urging us not to ride the Long Island Railroad during a strike! There's a Sudduth sketch of Gleason here...
 ...and a portrait of Joe Garagiola by Bob Newman here. (Wait, Newman? Same last name as the concrete cookie baker? Hmm...) Miss Louise from Romper Room relays a wish from Mr. Do Bee, and well, that makes my Christmas a little brighter indeed.
 Two Viskupic drawings edge the third page, and Paul Lynde not only pushes his show, he delivers his holiday greeting in character. How's that for sincerity!
A neat Cootner doodle of Dino and Geraldine graces the last page, with quotes from an uncharacteristically restrained Joe Franklin and a typically windy Geraldo.

To lighten my load this time out (hey, I got things to do this week!), I'm simply presenting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in their entirety for either your nostalgic enjoyment or your edification (as in you actually spent time with family over these days instead of watching TV and therefore you've never had any idea what was aired). Note the seventh appearance of WPIX's Yule Log, which varied in length over the years and was probably at its longest here--four-and-a-half hours!

On Tuesday night, CBS aired A Death of Innocence, which sounds like a real drag, but watching it would have saved your eyeballs from viewing Paul Lynde wearing a bunny costume in the Gidget TV movie. (Which, given the absence of online evidence, I may have hallucinated. I'll see if I can dig up this nightmarish image from my personal collection of video rarities...
[Later add: Whoops, wrong movie. I was thinking of 1969's Gidget Grows Up. I found the promo in my collection, didn't find it online, and so uploaded it to YouTube. Enjoy.]
 Bolting to Saturday, we have a close-up on a rerun of Bridget Loves Bernie. A rerun. I'm telling you, between Christmas and New Year's you may as well have unplugged the tube.

Next week: That Lombardo Guy and the Canadians he hung around with!


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